Congress alleges PMO hand in 'reversal' of NIA stand in Malegaon
Stepping up attack, Congress on Sunday alleged "direct interference" of PMO in the "sudden reversal" of NIA's stand in the 2008 Malegaon blast case and pressed for a Supreme Court-monitored probe into it while apprehending that Samjhauta Express blast case may also meet the same fate.
New Delhi: Stepping up attack, Congress on Sunday alleged "direct interference" of PMO in the "sudden reversal" of NIA's stand in the 2008 Malegaon blast case and pressed for a Supreme Court-monitored probe into it while apprehending that Samjhauta Express blast case may also meet the same fate.
The opposition party asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to uphold his Constitutional oath and discharge duties in line with that oath irrespective of his "ideology".
The NIA (National Investigation Agency) has become 'Namo Investigation Agency', senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said at a press conference here while contending that the chargesheet appears to be aimed at "decimating and demolishing" the "meticulous" probe conducted by Maharashtra ATS led by late Hemant Karkare.
He demanded Supreme Court-monitored probe in the "sudden reversal" of the stance that has led to exoneration of six accused including Sadhvi Pragya and "dilution" of the case against the remaining accused on account of withdrawal of MCOCA and other offences.
He accused the government of "consistently" trying to save those who follow their ideology or belong to their associated outfits and are faced with charges.
"There was direct interference from the PMO...From his (PM's) office, I have said it earlier and everything is being proved, a dirty tricks department is being run. This government is centrally co-ordinated," Sharma said.
Elaborating, he said Col P S Purohit, an accused in the blast case, had allegedly written a letter to NSA Ajit Doval on January 6 and on January 8, it reached the Home Ministry and on January 9, the Home Ministry "started working" on it.
"...I have not seen such speed in movement of even files in the government," the Congress leader said.
"Our demand is clear. We insist the Prime Minister that his office, when he takes oath, he doesn't belong to a particular party, ideology, but the Prime Minister of India and should discharge duties in line with the oath," he said.
While pressing for Supreme Court-monitored probe, Sharma said the apex court should take "seize" all the papers relating the case, relating the probe, confessional statements, charge sheet and the correspondence among government, NIA, attorney general, NIA and Home Ministry, among Home Ministry, Home secretary and PMO.
"There is rule of law in the country and law doesn't discriminate. If this permission is given, like I said, then we ourselves are weakening India's case against terrorism. Because, dropping MACOCA means, the recorded statements which courts accept as evidences, will be useless now," he said.
"The developments have raised question mark on the integrity of India and its commitment to fight the forces of terror, having taken this position that India is a victim of organised terrorism, the targeted victim over decades, India is determined to fight terrorism, we condemn terrorism in all its forms and manifestation," the former minister said.
While demanding PM's intervention in the case, Sharma questioned whether, with the fresh NIA stance, the government was "negating" Karkare's "sacrifice for the country" by calling it as "dubious".
He also expressed apprehension that after the Malegaon case, the Narendra Modi dispensation may "destroy" the 2007 Samjhauta Express matter too, claiming that the NIA is "working" in that direction.
He claimed the agency dropped MCOCA charges in Malegaon case to see that all the statements recorded by the ATS become "inadmissible as evidence".
The Congress leader alleged that NIA chief Sharad Kumar was given extension in service to get this work done.
"Whatever they are doing are doing in a planned manner. If there is no MCOCA, all those who gave statements will deny to have made the statements and court will not take cognisance and all (the accused will be out). And things will repeat," he said.
Referring to an alleged statement by the NIA chief that nothing had happened after 2008, Sharma said, "The question is not which organisation, which caste, religion and people of which region are involved. But whether a NIA chief should say such thing? One who was to be relieved, has been given extension to get these things done."